Frequently Asked Questions

Need help? The following should cover most of your questions.

General help

How does the Encounters Dating site work?

Encounters Dating provides a safe, secure and anonymous way to find and communicate with people of your choice. In a nutshell, you choose a username (a screen name or alias) and set up a profile describing yourself and the type of person and relationship you are looking for. You can view other people's profiles by searching the site and, in turn, they can view your profile. When you find someone that interests you, you can send a message via the site to their username. The message is sent to their email address from your username - your real name and email address are never shown. In turn, you may receive messages from other members. These messages will be from their username and not their real email address, protecting both your and their privacy. When you are ready you may choose to tell the other member your real contact details. We recommend that you read our guidelines for safe online dating.

What is the difference between a member and a subscriber?

Everyone who sets up a profile is a member. To contact someone for the first time, for example, you need to be a paying subscriber.

Is it free, or is there a catch?

To become a member is free. Members can use every feature of the site and can receive anonymous email through the site, but only paying subscribers can initiate a conversation. Our subscription rates are very reasonable, please visit our subscription page to view our rates.

Why can't I send messages?

To send messages you must be a subscriber. Please visit our subscription page to view our rates or to sign up.

Is my privacy respected?

Yes. We will never give your details to other members or use your details for any purpose without your permission. For full details please review our privacy policy.

Is the content censored?

As a rule no. We're not here to police our members. However, we reserve the right to hide, delete or modify unacceptable profiles. Amongst other reasons we reserve the right to delete or modify profiles that:

  • Contain contact information such as email or Skype addresses, Telephone numbers, addresses, etc.
  • Are illegal, e.g. under 18 years of age or solicit contact from people under 18 years.
  • Are racist, or attack other groups or religions.

Please refer to our terms of use for full details.

How do I get to the Home page?

Select the Encounters Dating logo at the top of the page to go to the Home page.

Is Encounters Dating recognised and approved by the Online Dating Association (ODA)?

Yes. We are members of the Online Dating Association which was set up to ensure high standards of behaviour by dating service providers serving the UK. The ODA Code of Practice is binding on members of the Association.

Login help

I've forgotten my login details. How do I find them?

Easy! Just click on the Forgotten Password link, complete the simple form and we'll email you a reminder of your username and a link that allows you to reset your password.

If you joined with your social network account, click on the related button and sign in with your social network details. If you still have a problem, please contact us.

Can I change my password?

Yes. Go to the Account Details page of your profile and follow the edit instructions.

How do I log out?

You can log out from every page on the site by selecting the profile icon (at the top right of every page) and then selecting Log Out from the options displayed.

Profile help

Why must I set up a profile to use the site?

You can search the site without setting up a profile. However, to view full member profiles you need to become a member and set up a profile. Remember, it's free to become a member.

Do I have to pay to set up a profile?

No. To set up a profile you simply need to become a free member; it is only necessary to become a (paying) subscriber when you, for example, want to send messages to other members.

How do I set up my Profile?

If you are not yet a member, start by joining Encounters Dating for free. If you're already a member, just click on Edit Profile.

Can I change my Username?

Yes. Go to the Account Details page of your profile and follow the edit instructions.

How do I change my Profile?

Go to Edit Profile and follow the edit instructions

Can I hide my profile from public view?

Yes. Go to the Settings page of your profile and change 'visible' to 'hidden'. Note that you can switch this back to 'visible' at any time if you so wish.

Can my profile be seen by users of your other dating sites?

Yes. From the moment you complete your profile on one of our sites, our aim is to help you find as many other people as possible that match the type of person you are looking for. This means that as well as being able to see members of Encounters Dating, you also have access to other member profiles from the following carefully selected Network Sites and vice versa:,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and Remember, our two-way matching process helps all of our members select suitable profiles, so even though yours may be seen by other users of the sites listed, generally they will only see your profile if you both match what you are jointly looking for.

Bear in mind that any mail or correspondence you receive through our system will always appear in your profile inbox in the normal way irrespective of which site the sender is a member of. Please note, for security reasons your log in details will only work on the site you originally joined.

For further information on how we protect your Personal Information such as your full name or contact details, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

How do I delete my profile?

Go to the Account Details page of your profile, click the 'Delete My Profile' link at the bottom of the page. NB: This process cannot be reversed and will completely delete all your details on the site. If you are a subscriber and have time left on your subscription, it will be deleted with your records and cannot be refunded or applied to other (future) profiles. If you are not sure about this, we recommend that you simply hide your profile.

Photo help

How do I add a photo to my profile?

Go to My Photos and follow the guidelines for uploading photos.

Does my photo automatically show on my profile?

No. All newly uploaded photos must be checked and approved by our support staff before they become publicly visible. The same is true of existing photos if you change your primary picture. Photos are usually checked within 24 hours of upload, but this may be longer at times of high demand, and on weekends when we have fewer staff on duty.

Are there any specific requirements for adding photos?

Yes. Your photo must either be in JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF or PCX format. Your photo must be less than 8192kB, but there is no restriction on the dimensions of the image you upload. We will automatically resize it if it is too large. Please refer to the detailed instructions in My Photos.

Why did my photo disappear from my profile?

Your photo may be deleted if it does not comply with our technical requirements, is obscene or is a picture of a celebrity or other copyrighted material such as cartoon pictures.

How do I invite someone to view my private photos?

While viewing the profile of the person you want to invite, select More (...). From the options displayed, select 'Invite to view Invitation-Only photos'.

Search help

How do I search?

For a quick and simple search, specify your requirements in the Quick Search form and click 'Go'. For more advanced search options see the descriptions on the Find page.

How do I search for a specific member name?

Easy. Using the Find By Name page in the Find section, enter the other person's username or part of their name and click 'Go'.

Why do I not get any results when I search?

You are most probably making your search criteria too narrow. Try relaxing your requirements a bit, e.g. a wider age range, etc. If you are looking for a blonde, blue eyed 21 year old, non-smoking female living in Outer Mongolia who wants children, chances are you will not get many results!

What is a match?

Matches are other members whose profiles meet the criteria you specified in your My Ideal Match page when you set up your profile. Our matching engine performs two-way matches, so members will only appear in your match list if your profile also meets the criteria they specified for their matches.

How do I refine my matches?

Make sure your profile is as complete as possible and that your desired partner details are not too open. For example, if your desired partner is a female aged between 18 and 80 living anywhere in the world matching will not work well for you. The trick is to find the right balance between too open a match and too narrow a match. As well as the profile details you specify for a match you have the option to rate how important each detail is.

How do I add someone as a favourite?

Simply select the heart icon to add someone as a favourite. In search results, you'll find it next to the envelope icon. While viewing a profile, select the heart icon below the person's profile photo and username. Select the same icon if you want to remove someone from your favourites.

How do I see when a member was last online?

Knowing when someone last logged in is very useful when you look at their profile. If you're on a mobile or table device, click on the info icon ('i') next to the favourite icon in search results or to the right of the match % when viewing a profile. If you're on a PC, this will automatically display.

Can I remove an unwanted fan or match?

Yes you can. While viewing your Fans or Matches page, simply click on the cross ('X') at the top right corner of the profile displayed.

How do I add notes and ratings?

While viewing a member's profile, simply select the five stars displayed in the two-way match information block to add a note or rating.

How can I view notes/ratings that I have recorded?

You will find members you've assigned notes and/or ratings to on the Notes and Ratings pages under Connections.

How do I edit a note or a rating?

While viewing a member's profile, simply select the five stars displayed in the two-way matching information block to edit a note or a rating. If you wish to remove your rating click on the space just before the first star.

Contacting other members

How do I contact another member?

While viewing another member's profile, click on the message (envelope) icon displayed below their profile photo. Enter your message in the text box provided and then click send.

Will any of my details be exposed?

No. The message sent to the other member will only contain your username, your message and brief instructions telling them how to reply. See our privacy policy for further details.

I received a message from another member. How do I reply?

The easiest way is to follow the link provided in the email you received. That will take you to their profile, where you can use the 'Contact Him (or Her)' link to send a reply message. Remember, you need to be a subscriber to send messages.

Can I prepare a message using another program and then copy and paste it into the Message box?

The best way to ensure your message displays correctly when the recipient reads it, is to type your message directly into the message box provided. However, if you want to use another program (e.g. Microsoft Word) DO NOT copy and paste the text you have prepared directly into the message box, as this can cause problems with how the message is displayed once it has been sent.

As an alternative, we recommend that you write your message using a plain text editor such as Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac). If you insist on using a Microsoft Office application such as Word, then you need to export your final copy as a plain text file using the following steps:

  • File -> Save As...
  • Set 'Save as type' dropdown to 'Plain Text (*.txt)'
  • Click Save
  • In the File Conversion dialog box, select the "Other encoding" radio button.
  • Select 'Western European (ISO)' encoding (depending on the written language)
  • Tick the 'Allow character substitution' checkbox and inspect the preview pane
  • Click OK to save the file

If you follow this method, Word will convert any "smart" characters back to standard characters. However, you must proof check the resultant file to see that Word handled this process correctly.

Once you have done that you can copy your text from the .txt file and paste it directly into the "Write your message..." box.

Must I be a subscriber to receive messages?

No, you will receive messages sent to your username even if you are not a Subscriber. You will, however, need to be a subscriber to reply.

I'd prefer not to receive messages in my regular email inbox. Can you help?

We suggest you set up a free Web-based mail account with a service such as Outlook and use this email address in your profile. Note that there is a potential down side to using free email services. Some of them disable your account if you do not check it regularly. In that case the emails other members send to you will be lost and, if we receive several consecutive bounces from your address, we may hide or remove your profile.

How do I stop receiving messages from a specific member?

Follow the link to their profile in the email you received from them, or use the Find By Name function to locate the other member's profile and click the 'Block Him or Her' link under their photo. If they try and contact you in future, they will see a note saying that you have blocked messages from them and that they cannot contact you. Remember only you can remove the message block.

How do I know if a message I sent has been read?

When a message has been sent, one tick will display with the time stamp. Once it's been read, two ticks will display.

How do I remove or delete messages from members I no longer have contact with?

We do not have an option to permanently delete messages. Instead, use the Archive option to remove or hide messages you no longer want in your recent messages. To archive a message, select the Archive Conversation option under More (...) while viewing a conversation. From the main messages page, select the cross icon to the right of each conversation listed. Messages that have been archived is visible under Archived messages and can be restored to recent messages by following the same steps above.

Subscription Help

What does it cost to subscribe to Encounters Dating?

We offer a range of competitive subscription packages, please visit our subscribe section for details.

How can I pay?

We offer a secure credit card payment facility. Alternatively, you can pay by credit card using our fax facility, by direct bank deposit or by posting a cheque. Full details appear in our subscribe section.

Is it safe to enter my credit card details on the site?

Yes. Credit card payments are processed using our WorldPay card-processing gateway. WorldPay is one of the largest and most respected global card processing companies. All your card details are encrypted for maximum security whilst travelling over the Internet. Further, no credit card details are stored anywhere on our site.

What will appear on my credit card account?

Payments will be shown as a purchase from "The Dating Lab Ltd" who operate the site.

Will my subscription automatically be renewed?

Yes, if you subscribe using a credit or a debit card, then you will be re-billed at the end of your first subscription period. However, if you purchase a subscription as a gift for someone, pay using an alternative method, or cancel your agreement before your renewal date, then you will not be re-billed. Should you wish at any time to cancel the automatic renewal of your subscription, simply go to the Status page and click on the cancellation link. You can find out more about the automatic renewal by clicking here.

I have not used all of my subscription and want to delete my profile. Will I be refunded the balance?

No, unused portions of a subscription are generally not refundable. Deleting your profile will result in your unused subscription being lost.

Will my profile remain on the site after my subscription ends?

Yes. You will however need to subscribe again if you want to activate your subscriber benefits again.

Why am I being asked to verify my card details?

You may be asked for an additional level of authentication called MasterCard SecureCode or Verified by Visa depending on your card type. These systems have been put in place by the card networks and the banks in order to provide an extra layer of security against fraud, and some banks have started to make it compulsory for all online transactions when shopping with a merchant that supports SecureCode / Verified by Visa as we do.

What is the difference between a standard and premium subscription?

With a standard subscription, anyone you contact must have their own subscription in order to reply to you. Whereas, with a premium subscription, anyone you contact is able to reply to you for free, even if the person doesn't have a subscription of their own.

Safety and Privacy Help

How do I block someone?

While viewing a member's profile, select the Block Him/Her option from the More (...) dropdown. Blocked members will still be able to view your profile, but will not be able to send you any messages.

How do I report someone?

If another member's behavior is giving you cause for concern or if someone's being downright abusive, please let our Support Team know by selecting the 'Report Abuse' option in the More (...) dropdown. All complaints are treated in the strictest confidence and could result in, amongst other things, the suspension or deletion of the offending member's profile.